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03 November 2004 @ 11:43 pm
I wax kinda moderate about the election, and gleee.  
So... the obligatory election bit. Don't really feel comfortable posting what I've been writing and thinking. As someone who fears conflict and aims for middle ground and Everybody Getting Along And Learning About Each Other's Viewpoints, I'm a bit intimidated by so much feeling, and so charged, and so polarized.

I'm not angry. I'm frustrated, disappointed, and scared, and trying to be hopeful.

My very strange reaction to all of this has involved a desire to be a student of sorts in a conservative, religious, Republican household. I think, perhaps foolishly, that I will be less afraid if I have the chance to learn about this, to understand this part of my country that is so different from mine, if there is a way to do it without anyone feeling put on the offensive. I want to know. I don't think people in this election, on either side, voted out of ignorance; I think we all voted out of fear of the threats to our various ways of life. I am not an activist by nature -- it feels phony to me to do the things that so many of you do so well -- and I have felt useless and unpatriotic because of this.

In my happy little la-la land, I think our country wouldn't be so divided if everyone understood each other's positions better. Maybe there really isn't more to this than it appears -- maybe the ways we want to live our lives in the blue and the red states really are totally incompatible -- but I suspect we wouldn't cling so much to the extremes if we each didn't feel like the middle was going to be pulled away from us.

I can start with my extended family. Because they happen to be Canadian, they don't think that religion has a place in the government... so it's a bit different, and they didn't have to make this particular electoral choice. These are good, kind, loving Christians who I respect and love, and yet it was a big, difficult question whether they could continue to love and treat their son as their own because he moved in with his fiancee before they were married. I don't understand this. I want to. More and more, I feel like I need to.

For the next four years, I want to work on that.

Please don't tell me how stupid I am for my naivete or be offended by any accidental condescension that might be in this late-night, poorly-expressed post, for that will make me sad. I know many of you are liberals who grew up in conservative households and are probably no less scared than me for your knowledge. So this isn't a way of improving the nation, it's just a way of maybe improving myself.

---

5 good things about today:

1. My car is back from Blowtorch Joe's and all shiny and pretty and un-crunched! (lisayaeger? I think it really might be better than new!)

2. OMG!! LOOK at the icon maching_monkey made me!! I have a linguistics icon!

3. alliesings said something to make me feel very loved.

4. Unexpected evening watching Stargate with alosersdream :)

5. Got TWO WEEKS off work for road trip! Supervisor didn't even CARE because I am officially fill-in staff! I walked away from this conversation with a "you're so great!" instead of mutterings about my wenchiness.

3 things I did well:

1. Did "consulting" gig of setting up dad's friend's computer. Successfully did things. Received money for transferring bookmarks of Yankees fan sites and naked women. *scrubs self clean*

2. Picked up car.

3. Made brightly coloured salad.

-- Little Red, receiving much-needed hug from down comforter!
 
 
feel: thoughtfulthoughtful
hear: "feels like fire" - santana
 
 
 
Lytalytarules on November 4th, 2004 06:22 am (UTC)
I am so glad that you have gleee! It's reassuring to see on my flist - gives me a sense of rightness when so much seems off.

Go you! *needs to start doing gleee posts*
Little Red: sg - osiris knowing evil - littlekfrumylittleredgirl on November 4th, 2004 06:31 am (UTC)
It would ROCKMYWORLD. I forgot to mention that someone else started doing gleee posts today and it was totally gleee for me too :)

My gleee is so insidious *evils*
(no subject) - lisayaeger on November 4th, 2004 11:41 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - mylittleredgirl on November 4th, 2004 03:34 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - lisayaeger on November 4th, 2004 04:00 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - wiliqueen on November 4th, 2004 09:39 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - lisayaeger on November 4th, 2004 10:22 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - wiliqueen on November 4th, 2004 10:33 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - lisayaeger on November 4th, 2004 10:46 pm (UTC) (Expand)
*spoilers for "Lockdown"* - mylittleredgirl on November 5th, 2004 05:12 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - mylittleredgirl on November 5th, 2004 05:09 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - mylittleredgirl on November 5th, 2004 05:05 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - wiliqueen on November 4th, 2004 03:25 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - mylittleredgirl on November 4th, 2004 03:32 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - wiliqueen on November 4th, 2004 03:41 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - mylittleredgirl on November 4th, 2004 03:45 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - wiliqueen on November 4th, 2004 04:07 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Christidaisycm83 on November 4th, 2004 06:36 am (UTC)
You know, that's probably the nicest and most...logical thing I've read about this election as of yet. It's interesting...I'm a political science major, I'm supposed to be passionate about these things, and I am to a certain extent. But when it comes down to it, I'm a middle of the roader-what solution can we come to that will help the most people and not make everyone go crazy?

I think that people just get too righteous about it all. That we forget that many of the issues that are so important to us, aren't, no matter how much they seem to us, black and white issues. What's right for you may not be right for me and so on. Like you said, it's reaching a common ground, an understanding, that's important.

I'm a moderate Democrat who spent a year at the most conservative college in the nation. Literally. Like, it's famous for that. Over half the population were Libertarians. You can't spend a year in that atmosphere without being forced to examine why you believe what you believe, and explain that to someone whose belief structure is so far from your own that they look at you like there are celery stalks growing out of your head. Still, it's an experience that I wouldn't trade for anything, because I feel more equipped than ever to look at an issue and understand both sides of it, and still manage to reach an opinion on it. Spending large amounts of time with people who believe differently than you do is something I think everyone should be forced to do at least once-the world might be a more sympathetic place for it.

Kudos to you for speaking your mind. Hope you don't mind me doing the same.
Little Red: janeway heaven & earth - kabutarmylittleredgirl on November 4th, 2004 03:41 pm (UTC)
I never mind you speaking your mind! Especially if speaking your mind doesn't involve saying nasty things about me ;)

But when it comes down to it, I'm a middle of the roader-what solution can we come to that will help the most people and not make everyone go crazy?

EXACTLY!! I have felt kind of lost as a moderate. (Which seems to make me liberal by US standards and conservative in the rest of the world)

I think that people just get too righteous about it all.

Yes. Totally. And righteousness scares people, which leads to more righteousness, because I think that mostly results in this day and age out of fear. In some regards, people are less afraid of what has and is actually happening than what COULD happen -- like if they relax at all, The Other Side will take an inch and then the whole mile. I have absolutely no idea what to do about finding a middle ground everyone can live with, so for me the first step is really trying to understand where everyone stands, especially me. Because I don't really really know what I think.

You can't spend a year in that atmosphere without being forced to examine why you believe what you believe

Wow. What made you select this college, if I may ask? Was this why?

I didn't realize until I went to a very liberal university that I am not as textbook-liberal as I thought I was. I walked away from that feeling totally conservative, only to find that I'm actually not in the larger scheme of things. Now I really want the other side of the story.

*love*
(no subject) - daisycm83 on November 4th, 2004 07:05 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - mylittleredgirl on November 4th, 2004 07:17 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Amanda: geeksquee. by nostalgia_ljlifelongfling on November 4th, 2004 07:02 am (UTC)
5. Got TWO WEEKS off work for road trip! Supervisor didn't even CARE because I am officially fill-in staff! I walked away from this conversation with a "you're so great!" instead of mutterings about my wenchiness.

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Little Red: gleee! - nenyamylittleredgirl on November 4th, 2004 03:42 pm (UTC)
OMG I KNOW EEEEEEEEEE!!!

Sometime soon we will talk itinerary more :) A.j. has Friday and Saturday off, so we could either go visit on Saturday, or I could go stay there Friday night while you're at the concert... things to think about!
(no subject) - lifelongfling on November 5th, 2004 02:34 am (UTC) (Expand)
annie_tait on November 4th, 2004 07:23 am (UTC)
I was going to copy/paste/italicise a few lines and comment, but I'll just save everyone some time and say, Hey, me too.
Little Red: sg - s/j evil darling - nos'mylittleredgirl on November 4th, 2004 03:42 pm (UTC)
It's important to save time in a high-traffic livejournal day like yesterday!! :)
Working for the Mandroidmoonshayde on November 4th, 2004 12:20 pm (UTC)
I'm not going into a lot of detail in my journal since I know I'll be crucified, even by people I consider friends, so I am just trying to stay positive and hopeful for the future. Big supportive hugs to you.
Little Red: gimme hope lizzie - nostalgiamylittleredgirl on November 4th, 2004 03:44 pm (UTC)
Yikes. And SUCKY!! I know none of my friends will crucify me, even metaphorically, for speaking my mind, but I am very very lucky. However, in such a volatile atmosphere, things can get quickly out of hand and I especially can end up saying things I regret. So, yeah. Prudence.

Hope and positivity YAY!
pellucid: missing Janetpellucid on November 4th, 2004 02:58 pm (UTC)
I think you're absolutely right in so many ways, and I want to believe that we could all get along. When it's not politics, I think we do. But I spent most of my life as one of maybe a dozen Democrats (four of whom are members of my immediate family) in a very conservative, Christian, Republican area. I have tried for years to figure out why they think what they do--and many of these people are my dear, dear friends, whom I know intimately, respect, love and trust. Yet at the end of the day, the polarization is still there. My sister had random people coming up to her and screaming at her in recent days because she has a Kerry/Edwards bumper sticker on her car. I gave up and moved away, first to NYC and then to Canada. How will we ever move past this if we can't even understand and respect one another?

(((hugs everyone because I need a hug myself)))
Little Red: drr kill the pain - Carolinamylittleredgirl on November 4th, 2004 03:48 pm (UTC)
Yet at the end of the day, the polarization is still there.

Yeah, that's pretty much what I expect. I just feel like I don't have the right to really stand firmly on one side of the debate without seeing the other... I guess. I'm not sure how to put it -- it's just a personal thing that I might feel less freaked out about the state of the nation if I really drive the point home to myself that the people who disagree with me and scare me are good people who want what they believe is right and best for their families.

Which... yeah, in a way is really terrifying, too. But it has to be better to know.

*GIVES BIG HUG*

Yay Canada!! I wish I still felt Canadian -- I have been away far too long. I am visiting soon, and may end up living there just because I have no definite geographical plans... we shall see!
(no subject) - pellucid on November 4th, 2004 04:59 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - mylittleredgirl on November 4th, 2004 07:21 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - pellucid on November 4th, 2004 07:28 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Jeff's LiveJournaljfpbookworm on November 4th, 2004 04:49 pm (UTC)
Word. There's a lot of evidence out there (blogs, book choices, etc.) that the two sides (an oversimplification, but yeah) don't even talk to each other much, and when they do it always feels like they're not responding to each other but are just putting words out there for the benefit of the like-minded. Can't help but wonder what would happen if folks started seriously talking to one another.
Little Red: gimme hope lizzie - nostalgiamylittleredgirl on November 4th, 2004 07:23 pm (UTC)
It's just so fraught with emotion, like there's no way to even ask a question without it being perceived as an attack and inviting counterattack.

However, I'm rather cute without my nonthreatening face, and generally curious and without malicious liberal agenda (am, perhaps, a malicious liberal, but not one with an *agenda*)... so, hey, it could work. *prepares to farm self out to conservative family*
(Deleted comment)
Little Red: gimme hope lizzie - nostalgiamylittleredgirl on November 5th, 2004 05:04 am (UTC)
Of course, some people I just want to smack, so I stay a good physical distance away.

This seems wise :)

Actually, this all seems wise. I'm glad you feel a bit better, and sad that none of us can feel all the way better. :(
mystic_isles000 on November 5th, 2004 04:48 am (UTC)
OMG your buddy icon for that is GREAT!
Much LOve cna' wait to se eyou!!
:-D
Little Red: sg - cult - me!mylittleredgirl on November 5th, 2004 05:00 am (UTC)
Look at the one I just made for our Kripalu-baby childhood!!

And I can't wait to see you EITHER!! I am going on a massive road trip starting next weekend for like 2 weeks (I am FUCKING INSANE because I am still sick but neeeeeeed to get out of here for a bit) but should be back about the same time as you :)
(no subject) - mystic_isles000 on November 5th, 2004 04:45 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - mylittleredgirl on November 5th, 2004 06:24 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - mystic_isles000 on November 6th, 2004 08:26 pm (UTC) (Expand)